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New FEMA Flood Maps Expand Flood Zones To Include World Trade Center Site

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TWC News: New FEMA Flood Maps Expand Flood Zones To Include World Trade Center Site
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The Federal Emergency Management Agency expanded its flood maps Tuesday, expanding the areas listed as flood zones, which now include the World Trade Center site. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

The World Trade Center site is now listed in a flood zone, according to new flood maps released Tuesday by FEMA.

"The World Trade Center site is commercial space," deputy mayor Cas Holloway said. "So the standard is going to be flood proofing it."

It's the same standard for thousands of other businesses and homes.

The new maps cover far more ground than the old ones, which date back to 1983.

These maps will eventually determine insurance rates for flood-prone properties.

World Trade Center developer Silverstein Properties said their towers are 15 feet above sea level and they are confident there is no flood risk.

They say critical infrastructure will be located out of harms way.

Nevertheless, if owners don't flood proof, those rates could skyrocket.

"Elevation is the way to think about how do you get yourself out of the flood plane, but you can also think about it in terms of what activities do I have on what floors," Holloway said.

The maps are just one element guiding the city's recovery from Hurricane Sandy.

"The city brings unique circumstances and opportunities that are not faced by other communities recovering from disasters," Brad Gair, director of Housing Recovery Operations, said.

The city's housing recovery plan was reviewed, with mostly positive results, by the City Council on Tuesday.

"I think I speak for all of my colleagues with that thank you for coming to our assistance," City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.

But it wasn't all supportive.

"There were many of my constituents who were hurt in the early stages of this program who waited in cold homes, two, three, four times for Rapid Repairs not to come," Staten Island City Councilman James Oddo said.

But Gair defended the program.

"Imagine starting a company like that, when you are going to have 15,000 customers already lined up and you have to start a company from scratch," he said.

Administration officials said they are still in the process of getting evacuees housing. Roughly 900 families are still in hotels.

In the end, the Bloomberg administration says all of these measures are not only about getting New Yorkers back into their homes, but also making those homes more resilient to a future storm like Sandy.

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